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Success Stories Please share your coming-home success stories here.

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  #26  
Old 01-04-2012, 08:07 PM
Real Checker Real Checker is offline
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Originally Posted by socalprinses View Post
Thanks, Real Checker. That gives me hope for my son although we are still sitting in county waiting for trial. If it's okay with you, I want to send your story to him as an inspiration. You know what they say, the best revenge is living well. Especially when people expect you to fail.
Of course you may share anything I write. I hope everything goes well at the trial. Even in county jail there is opportunity for character development and in most jails education. I did not mention it in my story, but it was in county jail that I received my GED. Let your son know that any time he spends on self improvement is time not wasted. Even if it is just reading a good book. Good luck to you.
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  #27  
Old 01-04-2012, 08:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Real Checker
In 1990 I was in front of a judge in San Antonio, Texas after accepting a plea bargain for 25 years on a habitual indictment. The charge was burglary of a habitation, it was my 13th felony conviction and would be my 5th and final time going to prison.

I landed on the Hughes Unit in Gatesville, Texas. I was a seasoned convict so I did not anticipate any problems and pretty much knew the routine and what to expect. When I finally came up for parole for the first time after 2 1/2 years I saw a parole commissioner and the first words out of her mouth were, "You didn't get enough time. You should have gotten life". I knew then that my only hope of getting out would be in 10 years as long as I maintained my good-time credits. That is when parole would become "mandatory". In Texas that is known as Mandatory Supervision.

While all the other convicts were busy finding ways to prey on other inmates, making home brew, selling contraband, or gambling on sports I was headed down the hallway taking college classes. By 1995 I earned my first degree in Information Management. Then by 1998 I had another degree in Electronics Technology. The important thing was that my way of thinking was changing. I began to see what was really important. At the top of the list was a simple code to live by ... Do The Right Thing.

What is the right thing? For me it boils down to this. In any situation, or when making any decision the right thing is anything that God would approve of. Even if you do not believe in God you still know what His standards are and to live by those standards guarantee success. In those situations where no moral or ethical decision is required, then the right thing to do is that which lifts up and does not tear down.

During my pre-release period I would gather newspapers for San Antonio where I was paroling to and peruse the classifieds to get an idea of what the job market was like. I noticed one job in particular which I qualified for. I had an address where to send a resume, so instead of sending a resume I sent a letter. In my letter I explained that I was writing from prison and I was going to be released soon. I explained my entire criminal background and left no detail out. I then wrote of my education and how God had worked to change my perception of the world and my attitude about values and ethics. I petitioned the employer to give me a chance to prove myself and that in return they would receive my unwavering loyalty.

It was a couple of weeks before my eventual release that I got a response from one of the managers of the company I wrote and he told me that he was impressed with my letter and to come visit him when I got out.

I had a positive attitude when I was released on mandatory supervision on February 11, 2000. Other than the standard stipulations on my parole certificate it was also required that I wear a monitoring device and attend substance abuse counseling.

On my first parole visit I was told there was a waiting list for ankle monitors. By the time one became available my parole officer already had that stipulation removed so I never had to use one. On my first visit to a substance abuse counselor they sent a letter to my PO stating that I did not need substance abuse services and that stipulation was removed.

I was hired by the company I wrote to from prison. The company is called Toshiba America Business Solutions which is the office machines branch of Toshiba Worldwide. I have work there ever since and have dug deep roots in the company. On December 31, 2001 I married a school teacher who was recently widowed with three boys. All the boys are grown now and the last one still living at home will be 20 this year and will be swearing into the Navy soon.

Being a dad is what really set my focus on wholesome living. I felt it was my job as a man and head of household to create a safe, secure, and calm environment for the family and I really succeeded at it. My main rule was that no yelling would ever be tolerated. It was a bit bumpy at first, but after the first year of marriage the kids would not even yell if they stumped their toes!!

Materialistically speaking, Since I have been released I have bought a new house, every two years a new car (the wife too), I ride my own Harley and taught my wife to ride and she bought her own motorcycle. We are both approaching retirement age and even though I got a late start on real living it looks like we will be able to retire with the lifestyle we are used to.

Parole? It has been 3 years since I reported to a parole officer. I am still on parole until 2015, but because I never so much as had a hiccup on parole they put me on "Early Supervision Release". That means I am not supervised at all, but I am still on paper until 2015.

I remember during one of my parole hearings where I was yet denied parole again the interviewer said that with my record I had less than a 5 percent chance of staying out of prison more than 6 months. Looking at my rather ample "jacket" (file folder) piled on the desk I could understand the assumption. A decade of release now and that jacket is just sitting up in a box somewhere collecting dust and turning yellow.

Yes, life is good. It is not a matter of changing bad habits. Certainly not a matter of being careful. For me, it was a matter of changing my way of thinking, which I attribute to my faith in God.
Bless you! I don't know you but I'm so proud of you. You are right you have to change your thinking in order to change your life. Well done! God is in the business of change when we really want it.
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  #28  
Old 02-01-2015, 07:25 AM
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Well it is February 1, 2015 and it has been a few years since I posted my success story and I think it is about time to give a significant update. I am still doing well, thank God for that. Today, however, marks a real success for me. This is the first time since I was 14 years old that I have awakened not being under some sort of supervision (and I am 58 years old right now). 25 years ago I was given my 5th and final prison sentence of 25 years. After completing 10 years of it in prison and 15 years of it on parole I am discharged and no long under any supervision at all. Nothing has changed, so there should be no pomp and circumstance. I just feel older and a little sad that so much of my life was a waste. I'm not depressed because I have a great life now, but I do mourn the life I gave up for my bad past decisions. It is my sincere hope that over time this "success stories" section of PrisonTalk will take up more cyberspace than any other portion of the forum.
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  #29  
Old 02-01-2015, 12:33 PM
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Congrats and welcome to the club! We should get custom baseball caps with NMS ("No More Snoopervision") embroidered in big, bold letters on them for club members.
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  #30  
Old 02-01-2015, 01:50 PM
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Oh geez, and here's the crybaby of the group Yep. I'm cry'n, cry'n Tears of Joy Congratulations!!! I'm so very, very happy for you, proud of you and maybe even just a tad bit envious ....My Mr still has approximately 10 1/2 years of parole left from his 4 trips to prison

Reading your post gives me hope. Thank You!

May you enjoy continued success and much happiness
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  #31  
Old 02-01-2015, 06:17 PM
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No more snoopervision. That is hilarious.
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  #32  
Old 02-12-2015, 11:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Real Checker View Post
Well it is February 1, 2015 and it has been a few years since I posted my success story and I think it is about time to give a significant update. I am still doing well, thank God for that. Today, however, marks a real success for me. This is the first time since I was 14 years old that I have awakened not being under some sort of supervision (and I am 58 years old right now). 25 years ago I was given my 5th and final prison sentence of 25 years. After completing 10 years of it in prison and 15 years of it on parole I am discharged and no long under any supervision at all. Nothing has changed, so there should be no pomp and circumstance. I just feel older and a little sad that so much of my life was a waste. I'm not depressed because I have a great life now, but I do mourn the life I gave up for my bad past decisions. It is my sincere hope that over time this "success stories" section of PrisonTalk will take up more cyberspace than any other portion of the forum.
I'm so happy for you congratulations
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  #33  
Old 03-25-2015, 02:46 PM
Mommyoftwo2015 Mommyoftwo2015 is offline
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This brought tears to my eyes. Congradulations on your new life. Through God anything is possible. You should write a book about your sucess and help inspire others.
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  #34  
Old 02-26-2017, 05:49 AM
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Wow, so beautiful and inspiring! I wish you a long and happy life!
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  #35  
Old 02-26-2017, 06:49 AM
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This is the kind of stories we need to hear more often. I believe in my heart that people can succeed after prison if they do what you did. I hope one day my son, who is currently serving time, will be able to have the same mind set that you did. I will also send him a copy of your story. It is so inspiring, gives me so much hope for my son. Kathyradellvn
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